Monday, May 13, 2024

Book Review: Summers at the Saint

By Melissa Smoot

Welcome to the St. Cecelia, a landmark hotel on the coast of Georgia, where traditions run deep and scandals run even deeper. . .

Everyone refers to the St. Cecelia as “the Saint.” If you grew up coming here, you were “a Saint.” If you came from the wrong side of the river, you were “an Ain’t.” Traci Eddings was one of those outsiders whose family wasn’t rich enough or connected enough to vacation here. But she could work here. One fateful summer she did, and married the boss’s son. Now, she’s the widowed owner of the hotel, determined to see it return to its glory days, even as staff shortages and financial troubles threaten to ruin it. Plus, her greedy and unscrupulous brother-in-law wants to make sure she fails. Enlisting a motley crew of recently hired summer help―including the daughter of her estranged best friend―Traci has one summer season to turn it around. But new information about a long-ago drowning at the hotel threatens to come to light, and the tragic death of one of their own brings Traci to the brink of despair.

Traci Eddings has her back against the pink-painted wall of this beloved institution. And it will take all the wits and guts she has to see wrongs put to right, to see guilty parties put in their place, and maybe even to find a new romance along the way. Told with Mary Kay Andrew’s warmth, humor, knack for twists, and eye for delicious detail about human nature, Summers at the Saint is a beach read with depth and heart. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

I have always enjoyed books by Mary Kay Andrews, and Summers at the Saint is no exception. Set in a luxury resort in a coastal town of Georgia, this story had all the makings of a perfect beach read. Although the book is over 450 pages, I could not get enough and finished it in less than two days. That is saying something since I also have a full-time day job! 

The main character, Traci Eddings, had grown up on the “wrong side of the causeway”, but was now the owner of the luxury resort where she started as a lifeguard as a teenager. When a tragedy strikes Traci’s family, she not only has to figure out who did it, but how to save the beloved hotel that has become her home, and the staff like family. Andrews really takes the time to fully develop the characters and the story line, so I didn’t feel like there were any unanswered questions when the book ended.

I spent many years working in the luxury hotel business, and I could relate to many of the obstacles and inner workings of spending 12-15 hours a day, sometimes six days a week, at a resort such as this. If you are looking for a top notch beach read this summer, look no further. You will not be disappointed in Summers at the Saint.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Mary Kay Andrews:

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Book lover said...

So Melissa do you recomend this for a new marian reader?

Anonymous said...

Yes! I would definitely recommend it!